State government believed to waste 30 cents out of every dollar spent
Raleigh, N.C. – A poll released today by the Civitas Institute reveals a large percentage of voters believe state government in North Carolina wastes significant portions of public money and prefer spending cuts over tax increases to balance the current budget deficit.
The mean percentage for wasteful spending was approximately 30 percent when the responses of 600 voters were tabulated. North Carolina voters think the state wastes about 30 cents out of every dollar it spends.
“I think the message should be pretty clear to state law makers, voters think they waste money,” said Francis De Luca, Executive Director of the Civitas Institute.
When informed of the current five percent budget deficit, 79.8 percent of those surveyed indicated a preference for spending cuts as a method to close the budget gap. 11.8 percent of respondents supported raising taxes while 8.3 percent refused or were unaware.
“Wasteful government spending is always a topic that garners quite a bit of attention even in normal economic conditions,” De Luca said. “However, if families across North Carolina have to tighten their belt during this downturn, it is only natural they should have a heightened wariness of government spending or tax increases.”
The Civitas Poll is the only monthly live-caller poll of critical issues and policies facing North Carolina.
Full text of questions:
If you knew there was a 5% deficit in the North Carolina state budget, to that 5 % deficit, would you rather see the state cut spending or increase taxes?
Cut Spending – 79.8%
Raise Taxes – 11.8%
No Opinion – 8.3%
In your opinion, what percentage of state government spending do you think is wasted?
Zero Percent/None – 0.7%
1-5% – 4.8%
6-10% – 9.3%
11- 20% – 16.0%
21- 30% – 15.3%
31- 40% – 12.5%
41-50% – 8.0%
Over 50% – 16.2%
No Opinion- 17.2%
This poll of 600 likely general election voters in North Carolina was conducted April 21-23, 2009 by McLaughlin and Associates of Alexandria, Virginia. All interviews were conducted via telephone by professional interviewers.
Interview selection was random within predetermined geographic units. These units were structured to correlate with actual voter distributions in a statewide general election. The poll of 600 likely general election voters has an accuracy of +/- 4.0% at a 95% confidence interval.